Sex, an Old Leaf Dropping from the Tree – Osho

Can it be true that sex is already over? I have been your sannyasin for four and a half years and my body is thirty-one years of age. I never planned to drop sex, but now it feels like it has dropped me. Am I a quickie or what?

Dhyan Satyama, the place you are in and the space you are in… four and a half years is really too long. You can understand by the laughter of the people. They are in the same boat. If you meditate, sex is going to drop by itself.

Sex is part of your unconsciousness, and it is a blissful experience if it drops by itself. If you force it to drop, it never drops. On the contrary, it becomes perverted; it starts finding ways from the back door. Unless it drops by itself, it never drops.

Meditation is the secret most method of going beyond the body and all that the body contains. Sex is part of your body, your biology; it is not part of your consciousness. The moment you start rising up in your consciousness, sex is left far behind. Naturally, at the age of thirty-one one starts wondering, “Something seems to have gone wrong…. Nothing has gone wrong, everything has gone right. You should feel blessed that you are free from the greatest imprisonment of your being.

Adam and Eve were standing underneath the tree of knowledge, looking at the apple in Eve’s hand. Eve turned to Adam and said, “After we have eaten the apple, we are going to do WHAT?” Naturally the poor woman was not yet aware about what. And they had eaten only one apple… It seems you have been eating too many apples; then one becomes a quickie.

Little Ernie’s mother was worried about his progress at school, so she took him to see the psychiatrist. The shrink decided to give him an aptitude test and asked the nurse to put a hammer, a wrench and a screwdriver on the table. “If he grabs the hammer,” said the shrink, “he will be a carpenter. If he grabs the wrench, he will be a mechanic. If he grabs the screwdriver, he will be an electrician.” Ernie fooled them all. He grabbed the nurse.

It does not matter what your age is; sex has nothing to do with age. It can disappear at any moment or it may not disappear even when one leg is in the grave. It all depends whether your life is just a horizontal phenomenon or something vertical also.

That verticalness can happen any moment, particularly for those who are in meditation. You can start moving differently than any other animal is capable of – except a few men. It is unfortunate that I have to say “except a few men”; intrinsically, every man is capable of going beyond sex.

But people think sex is life; the moment sex disappears, they think; now there is no point in going on living. Sex was their meaning, their very salt. These are the poorest people in the world who have not known anything beyond the lowest; they have never raised their eyes towards the stars.

“A man has reached old age when he can’t take yes for an answer.”

So it doesn’t matter… at the age of thirty-one you have become a wise old man. And the beauty of a wise old man is tremendously valuable in comparison to the foolishness of all those who are just young. The young people are bound to fool around; it is rare at this age, to be able to get out of this stupidity that we call youth.

Dhyan Satyama, you are exactly what I would like every sannyasin to be. This place is a place for transformation, and the only energy you have got to be transformed is sex.

Sex is your basic life force.

If you transform it into higher forms, it is going to disappear from its lower manifestations. But you are not going to miss anything; at each higher state the energy will give you more and more blissfulness. The higher it rises… it becomes a tidal wave of blissfulness. You start feeling orgasmic in every fiber of your being. Sexual orgasm seems to be a faraway echo, almost as if you have seen it in a dream – just a faint memory.

Because what you are now experiencing is so authentic and so real, so solid, you will not need a companion. That too is one of the basic dependencies, and that’s why all couples are in constant fight. The reason is that nobody wants to be dependent on anyone. It takes away your dignity, your individuality, your freedom. It makes you in a subtle sense a slave.

The man who loves a woman will hate the woman, because that woman has become a necessity, and one hates to be dependent on anyone. And the same is the case for the woman. Every woman hates the husband, has to hate him, because she has become dependent on him for momentary pleasures which don’t last long.

A meditator finally comes into a space where he does not need anyone to give him pleasure. He is full of blissfulness, overflowing, he can share, he can fill the whole world with his blissfulness. His very being has become orgasmic.

Now that is something tremendously significant to be remembered: you are both, man and woman together. Because you are born of a father and a mother – half of your being has been contributed by your father and the other half by your mother – naturally you cannot be just man or just woman. It is a fallacy perpetuated for centuries that man is man and woman is woman. It is absolutely wrong.

Every man has his woman within him and every woman has her man within her. Only the meditator comes to know his whole being. Suddenly his inner woman and the inner man melt and merge into each other. That creates an orgasmic state in him. Now it is no more a momentary experience that comes and goes; it is something that continues, day in, day out, like heartbeat or breathing. Every moment he is in an orgasmic state.

Naturally, sex disappears. A greater experience has come in. The sun has risen; what is the use of having a candle unnecessarily burning? You are bound to blow it out. If somebody keeps his candle burning in the sun, it only shows one thing: that man is blind.

A meditator comes to know such a vast experience of joy that all other pleasures simply fade away.

You are asking, “Can it be true that sex is already over?”

Yes, it is true, and you need not repent for it. Don’t look back, look ahead. Something greater is going to open in your being, something like a lotus, which will give you absolute fulfillment and contentment, and freedom, independence, individuality. For the first time you will feel you are able to fly alone into the vast sky of existence. Your need for the other has disappeared – that is what sex is, the need for the other – and in this state of orgasmic experience within yourself, without the help of anyone else you become capable of sharing your love, not bargaining, not even hoping for something in return.

In other words, this is what I was just talking about: friendliness – friendliness towards the whole existence. Nothing is greater, more glorious. Nothing is more of a splendor and a miracle. You are saying, Satyama, “I have been your sannyasin for four and a half years and my body is thirty-one years of age.” The body can be of any age….

There are two things which are not necessarily of the same age as the body. The lowest of these two is well understood by the psychoanalyst; the higher is still beyond them. Psychology is still struggling to stand up. It is crawling on the ground at the lowest level of human energies; hence, about the lower it has found a few fundamental truths.

One is the mental age: a man may be seventy years old, yet his mental age may be only fourteen – or vice versa. In cases like Mozart… when he was only four years of age he was able to play on musical instruments like a great master; at the age of five he was already becoming famous. Even great masters of music could not believe the phenomenal energy of Mozart. At the age of five, he was almost as mature mentally as very few people become at the age of seventy.

Psychology has accepted that body and mind don’t grow together. Sometimes, most of the time, the mind is lagging behind and the body goes on growing. A few times, in rare cases, the mind grows ahead and the body lags behind.

When Emerson, a great creative and sensitive man, was asked about his age, he said, “Three hundred and sixty years.” The people who were present could not believe it; they could not believe that Emerson, a man of truth, a very innocent man, a man loved and respected by all those who could understand the heights of consciousness… why should he lie about such a thing? Three hundred and sixty years old? – he does not look more than sixty. What to make of it?

Finally, one man asked, “Perhaps I could not rightly hear what you said. Will you please repeat it?”

Emerson laughed and said, “Why are you going in a roundabout way? Why don’t you say directly that you cannot believe that my age is three hundred and sixty years?”

Then another man said, “Now we have to ask you. You look only sixty at the most; you will have to give us evidence that you are three hundred and sixty years of age. And a man of your integrity is expected not to lie.”

Emerson said, “I am not lying. I have lived so much in sixty years that you will be able to live only in three hundred and sixty years. According to my intensity and totality of life, I have lived in sixty years as much as an ordinary man will live in three hundred and sixty years. I am not lying; it all depends how you live.”

Meditation changes your life pattern completely.

This has still to be recognized by psychology. But the psychology of the enlightened ones knows perfectly well that consciousness can go on growing. It need not grow simultaneously with the body. Adi Shankara, the founder of a systematic, philosophical system for the Hindus, died at the age of thirty three. He became enlightened somewhere about the age of seven. When he was seven his father had died. He was the son of a poor father, a poor brahmin; the mother was only living for him, the only son. At the age of seven, Adi Shankara asked his mother that he wanted to renounce the world. Can you conceive of a child of seven years old thinking of renouncing the world? – must be another Mozart, a Mozart of spirituality.

The mother said, “Your father has died and you want to renounce the world. Don’t you think of me?”

Adi Shankara said, “I can only promise you one thing: before you die I will be present, so in your last moments you can die peacefully. But right now, allow me to renounce the world. I want to become a sannyasin and to go in search.” The mother refused.

Not to hurt her, Shankara remained for a few days more. One day he went to the river. He used to go for his bath every day, but that day he insisted that his mother should also come with him. The mother was a little concerned: why he was so insistent? But when he became absolutely adamant that “if you don’t come, I will not go for the bath. Then I cannot worship and then I cannot eat either,” so the mother had to go.

The mother was standing on the river bank and the little child, seven years old, was caught by a crocodile. A crowd gathered, but there was nothing that could be done. Both the feet of the boy were inside the mouth of the crocodile, and Shankara shouted to the mother, “Now there are only two possibilities: either you give me permission to renounce the world and become a sannyasin or the crocodile is going to eat me. It is up to you to decide. Be quick!”

It is a strange story. How did the crocodile conspire in this? And the mother of course immediately shouted, “I allow you, you can become a sannyasin. Even this much will be a solace to me, that you are still alive.”

And the story goes that the crocodile immediately left him and disappeared. Must have been a very saintly crocodile… Whatever the case – perhaps it is only a parable – one thing is certain: that Adi Shankara at the age of seven must have convinced his mother that either she had to allow him to be a sannyasin or she had to be ready for his death. How he managed it, that is a different matter. But one thing is certain: he gave her the clear-cut choice, either death or sannyas. Obviously the poor mother had no choice; she allowed him.

At the age of seven, Adi Shankara became a sannyasin. In the whole history of the world there is no other case parallel to Shankara. Somewhere between the age of seven and eleven – there is no historical record of it, but it seems just between seven and eleven – he must have become enlightened. At the age of eleven he started writing his great commentaries on the Upanishads, and on one of the greatest and most complicated scriptures that exists in India, Badrayana’s Brahmasutras.

At the age of eleven it is almost impossible even to understand it – and Shankara wrote the greatest commentary. It has defeated all the great commentators of the past and all the great commentators that came after him. Nobody has been able to go beyond these flights of consciousness and bring such tremendous meaning to the almost dead scripture of Badrayana, Brahmasutras. The way he interprets is possible only after enlightenment. Each small word… the way he gives a turn to its meaning. Something which was looking very ordinary immediately becomes extraordinary. He has the touch that transforms everything into gold.

By the time he was thirty-three, he had written all the great commentaries on all the great scriptures, and he had traveled all over the country and defeated all the so-called great philosophers, theologians, priests. At the age of thirty-three he died.

Consciousness is not limited to your physical age.

Consciousness can go far ahead of you, your body.

So don’t be worried, Satyama. You are saying, “I never planned to drop sex, but now it feels like it has dropped me.” That’s the right way. You should never drop sex with conscious effort, because that is only repression. You should not pay any attention to sex. Your whole focus should be towards meditation, and one day sex is going to drop just like an old leaf dropping from the tree, not making even any noise, silently falling into the earth and disappearing. […]

-Osho

From Satyam Shivam Sundram, Chapter Ten

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Re-establishment in Reality – Jean Klein

Question: What does sadhana mean?

Answer: What truly exists is ultimate reality, the Self. The ego and the world are no more than objects superimposed upon it. “I am”, which is the source of all experience, is beyond the experiencer/experienced duality. When we place the accent on the “I am”, on being aware, and not on thought nor on perception, we gradually become deeply relaxed, both on the neuro-muscular level and on a mental plane.

If we disinterestedly observe all the states we experience, we soon come to realize that each perception, each thought, is reabsorbed into knowledge, ‘I know’: the only true reality, before any other activity commences. Let yourself sink deeply within this stillness each time it makes itself felt.

The world you perceive is none other than a figment of the imagination founded on memory, fear, anxiety and desire. You have locked yourself away within this world. See this without jumping to conclusions and you will be free. There is no need for you to free yourself from a world which exists only in your imagination.

What you take to be reality is only a concept arising from memory. Memory arises from the mind, the mind from the witness, the witness from the Self. You are the witness, the onlooker standing by the riverside, changeless, beyond the limits of space and time: you cannot perceive what is permanent, because you are it.

Do not nourish the ideas you have built around yourself, nor the image people have of you. Be neither someone nor something, just don’t play the game. This will bring about being, constant awareness.

The personality is nothing other than a projection, a habit created by memory and nourished by desire. Ask yourself the question “Who am I?” and lucidly observe that you are not this thinker, doer, sufferer; all these forms appear and disappear indefinitely creating an illusion of continuity. The idea of being a person, an ego, is nothing else but an image. It is a reflection created by the Self, with which it identifies itself.

It is inherent to creativity to identify itself with its creation. The world of objects, just like the ego, is only a figment of your imagination, your creation. The teacher helps you to understand, by his presence and his gift of teaching, that you are neither object nor ego. The objectless thought without object, is the only real link between the mind and the witness, for the witness carries with it the scent of the Self. “I am this or that” is only part of your imagination, a hallucination. The objectless ‘I’ points towards its source, its origin, and finally loses itself in stillness beyond time.

Observe the way your mind moves, works, without having any preconceived ideas about it. A moment will come when you discover yourself to be the witness. Subsequently, when all striving has left you, you will realise that you are the light shining behind the observer. Reality is neither a product of the mind nor the result of a whole train of thoughts, it just is. The only method we can suggest is to observe impartially the way in which your mind reacts in the different circumstances of everyday life. But of course you must realise that you can never find your true Self in a perception. Live as previously, thinking and feeling, but become aware of these functions, thus you will spontaneously free yourself from them.

What you think of as your personality will vanish, leaving only the witness. In the end, he will lose himself in ultimate knowledge.

Above all don’t ask me how this comes about.

Question: How can we detach ourselves from objects?

Answer: Being attached to things and repeating things over in one’s mind come from fear, a need for security. You become a slave to them. We cannot free ourselves from their grasp by discipline nor by exercises because there is nothing to strive for, nothing to be attained. Freedom from objects comes directly from our true nature when you “know your real self”. This realisation is a spontaneous intuition which leaves you in a state of being, of fullness, free from the becoming process.

This mind is an extension of our being, it can only function harmoniously when illuminated by the Self. All forms of control submit us to memory. A controlled mind can never act freely, nor spontaneously. Of course we can say that memory is the best of all tools, but it is a poor guide, for it functions within the framework of the already known. The unknown, what is new, unique, is a closed world to us. Since the independent ego, which we take ourselves to be, is the source of all our anxiety, we cannot rid ourselves of it by effort or discipline. Effort is a driving force resulting from constraint. By clear-sighted awareness of cause and effect, another view will open out for you. Then the problems, together with the emotional involvement they imply, will leave you.

Any form of exercise is bound to be a goal, to a result. It is an obstacle. Be aware of your constant desire to be this or that. There is no goal to be reached since what you are looking for is here and now and always has been. Then the mind, free from all desire to become, will be at peace, and the centre of attention will shift from the object to the ultimate subject, a foretaste of your real Self. Be vigilant, clear-sighted, don’t strive to become.

Question: What should we do when there is a striving towards something during meditation?

Answer: You must simply witness it. The only obstacle to this meditation is the striving behind it. Sooner or later you will be attention, attention without object. This would seem to have no meaning when talking of attention, for one is necessarily attentive towards something. But this attention is absolutely empty. It is not focused on an object, it is free from any memory.

Question: My biggest stumbling block is the world of difference that exists between the intuition I encounter while meditating and the fact that everything is forgotten once I undertake my daily activities. In the end I begin to wonder why I meditate at all, for an hour later I have forgotten everything and am once again submerged by objects.

Answer: The problem is this; during meditation you experience and contemplate a vacant state of mind, what you perceive is the absence of activity. You know this absence but do not yet know the knower. Once you are knowingly this knower, you will know “being”, whether the mind be active or passive. There will be no difference, no change: from then on, this awareness will be an unwavering certainty. •

During meditation you will experience total emptiness which in a way is still an object. Absence of thought inevitably implies eventual presence of thought. Thus what you sense is a state of deep peace free from activity. One day this void, this blank, will vanish too and you will encounter ultimate stillness.

Up till now you have contemplated a calmed mind, but should a bird sing or someone speak, your inner silence is broken. That is why you ask this question. By its very nature, the mind is occasionally empty; it is nonetheless nothing but an instrument.

Question: I can’t see how you can possibly lead an everyday life and “be” at the same time.

Answer: Everyday life appears before someone. You are this someone but you are not what appears day after day. Question yourself deeply: To whom do these things appear? Who judges them, condemns them? Who swings between likes and dislikes, and who is it that is also an integral part of what appears?

You know the person that refuses, accepts or chooses. What you are fundamentally is completely beyond all this. You know moments when you must make a choice and others free from choice.

Within yourself you must distinguish between the person involved in choosing and the observer, who is ever-impartial. You will come to place yourself knowingly in this presence free from choice. Here, what we call everyday life takes root and flourishes. Here, there is no person bound by fear, desire or anxiety, to choose, intervene, or interrupt the natural flow of life.

From what you have said you would think that everyday life was nothing but a burden. Who for? Drop the ‘who’, and you will see that there is no burden to bear.

Question: How can I free myself from mental confusion?

Answer: Constantly witness your doings. Vigilance purifies the mind and sooner or later will place you knowingly beyond it.

You encounter ups and downs in your search for the Self because you do not yet see things in their true perspective—as a whole. They will continue just as long as you consider yourself in terms of “I am my body”. The mind will lead you astray until you perceive its true nature.

The basis for re-establishment in true reality is the act of listening, free from the past, to what the teacher has said, and to the reminders that this creates.

The unspoken word, acting as a background to all that takes form, enables this truth to bec6me experience. Be clear-headed, and don’t hang on to what you are not. The universe of which you are the source obeys its own laws. Don’t look for reasons for what you believe to be. It is a completely useless expense of energy. What you are basically is without cause, beyond improvement. Thinking in terms of a doer responsible for his acts stems from the illusion of the ego and its characteristics.

You must frequently turn to this background, as often as the chance to do so occurs. Your attention is constantly turned either towards objects or to ideas, and you have no sense of being, it is completely unknown to you. Become the spectator, become aware of the natural flow of life, your motives, actions, and what results from them. Observe the walls you have built around yourself. As you become more aware of your body and mind you will come to know yourself. As this image subsides of things, as you believe them to be, you will have a clear-headed insight of what you are, something quite other than a product of the mind. This insight results from elimination. All confirmations come from memory, are outside real experience. You will gradually feel less and less involved in whatever should come up. You will discover yourself to be the perceiver. Once you free yourself from the idea, “I am the body” and the consequences, you will awaken to your natural state of being. Give yourself up entirely to this discovery. True awareness cannot be obtained by projecting known factors in terms of concepts and perceptions. What you are fundamentally cannot be experienced through reason and is only reached once you eliminate what you are not.

A willful ego hinders you from being. The witness must enter upon the scene, enabling the ego to be recognized for what it is, an object. This witness opens the door to being. The ego cannot “know” itself, it identifies with what it thinks, feels, experiences. The teacher leads the disciple away from what he believes himself to be, in order to enable him to get to know his real Self and awaken to all his perceptions. For the ego, there is nothing but resistance, defense, agitation. It is the witness that shines forth and shows up the ego for what it is, an illusion.

The meditative state leads us to discover what we really are. We become aware of our body and thought patterns, of the reasons that motivate our actions of which we were scarcely conscious. By allowing our thoughts to follow on one from another, to develop fully without our intervening, this meditative state becomes a purification, a letting go, without there being a person that purifies or lets go. It is an uninvolved observation post. A whole world of unsuspected energies releases itself, frees itself. Mental activity ceases to be agitated and follows its natural course, allowing us to discover ourselves as the witness, the onlooker. We completely abandon the “I am this, I am that” reflex. The onlooker transcends the experience and the experiencer. He is pure awareness.

The world exists when we think about it, it is ever renewed. It is only memory that gives the false impression of continuity. The individual does not exist outside the ultimate knower, he is but a shadow, nothing, a reflection on the mind’s screen. He is a fabrication of both memory and habit. Always agitated he hopes and claims, searching for confirmation and security, striving to accumulate. Basically, he is frightened and does not dare question himself profoundly.

All perceptions, all experiences are connected with time, but the ultimate knower transcends time. It is a lack of clear-sightedness that causes us to identify with temporality. Any perception of what you think, feel or do is only transitory. The feeling of being acts as a support and is permanent. Accept the invitation that the souvenir of this very feeling creates in you, plunge deep within it, until you are carried away by reality.

-Jean Klein

From Neither This Nor That I Am

Witnessing Without a Center

Perhaps this can be helpful to someone. I have noticed recently that when I watch thoughts (content) there is a container (me). But when I watch the activity (not content), there is only witnessing.

This is important because that means that as long as I am engaging in the content the “me” remains. And if I take one step back and watch the movement, witnessing is, without a center. And this witnessing without a center is delicious.

This “take one step back” is really a misnomer. It is not a question of doing anything but simply “not doing.” Engaging in the content is “doing.” To watch without either grasping or rejecting is not doing and it is by watching without engagement that one finds oneself first witnessing the movement without content and when that movement is also witnessed without engagement, then one is Not, and only awareness Is.

-purushottama

Self Knowledge and Self Realization – Nisargadatta Maharaj

When we concentrate our attention on the origin of thought, the thought process itself comes to an end; there is a hiatus, which is pleasant, and again the process starts. Turning from the external world and enjoying the objectless bliss, the mind feels that the world of objects is not for it. Prior to this experience the un-satiating sense enjoyments constantly challenged the mind to satisfy them, but from the inward turn onwards its interest in them begins to fade. Once the internal bliss is enjoyed, the external happiness loses its charm. One who has tasted the inward bliss is naturally loving and free from envy, contented and happy with others’ prosperity, friendly and innocent and free from deceit. He is full of the mystery and wonder of the bliss. One who has realized the Self can never inflict pain on other.

-Nisargadatta Maharaj

From Self Knowledge and Self Realization, Chapter Three

Here you can download a PDF copy Self Knowledge and Self Realization.

You Are This Nakedness – Jean Klein

I have been searching for a long time for truth or God. When I began I was crippled by anxiety and fear. Now I feel I have an innate understanding of what truth is not, but I do not feel I have glimpsed what truth is.

You are looking for an experience, for God, for beauty. This means you see what you are looking for as an object. I would say: Simply inquire who is looking. When you really inquire, you will see that the looker is what you are really looking for. That is the shortest way if one can still speak of a way.

Be clear in your mind that what you are looking for can never be an object. Because you are what you are looking for, so you can never see it, never comprehend it. You can only be it. Being it means you have no representation, no idea of it. You are free from all concepts. When the mind sees this it comes to a stop. Then you find yourself in a kind of nakedness. You are this nakedness free from all qualification. So, be it really. Be completely attuned to it.

-Jean Klein

From Living Truth, page 213

My Approach is Individual – Osho

Many small groups of sannyasins are forming around the world. Would you comment on Gurdjeff’s words, that people who want to wake up, and who are living together in a group, can function as alarm clocks for each other?

George Gurdjieff is right, but right only about his own system. It is true: if you are following Gurdjieff’s ideology and his methods, then a group is an absolute necessity; you cannot work alone.

Then people can function as alarm clocks to each other. If somebody starts falling asleep, somebody can shake him up. When you are starting to fall asleep, somebody else can shake you up and wake you.

Gurdjieff’s method is a school method. He himself was trained in different schools of the Sufis. They are all school methods. School methods have a difficulty – that you have to depend on the group, that if the group is not the right group they can function in just the opposite way: rather than being alarm clocks, they can all become drugs for each other. You may have watched it: if one person starts falling asleep, immediately something in you also starts falling asleep.

Sleep is contagious.

Awakening is not.

It is possible that twenty people may remain asleep and one person awake, but his awakening is not going to be contagious. Most probably, seeing twenty people asleep he will himself fall asleep. So unless you have a very awakened master, the group method is not going to help much.

But in Gurdjieff’s system the group is absolutely necessary; alone you cannot do it. For example, he had his school near Paris…. He told one of the new disciples to dig a trench. The whole day, from the morning – from sunrise to sunset – he was not allowed to go to eat or leave for anything; he had to dig the trench. That was the most important thing.

Now, it needs somebody to watch; otherwise the man may rest sometimes. The whole day is a long time, a hot day… he may go to have a drink or to eat something; or under the tree there is such beautiful shade and coolness… he may fall asleep.

Gurdjieff himself walked continuously the whole day, just by the side of the man. Now, when Gurdjieff himself was walking by his side continuously, the whole day, of course the man could not leave. By sunset he had made the big trench. And Gurdjieff said, “This is only half the work: now you fill it, and then you can go and sleep.”

This was too much. Through great effort the whole day, against all temptations to leave it, he managed, because of Gurdjieff’s presence, to continue, knowing one thing, that it could not kill him: “I cannot die by just not eating for one day or not drinking water. I cannot die – that much is certain. So let us try.”

Now Gurdjieff says, “It is only half the work – you have now to fill it completely, as it was before you started digging. Then you can go and do whatsoever you want.” And Gurdjieff remained there. It took a few hours for the man again to fill the trench – by midnight he was freed.

That new disciple remembers that that night was the most precious in his life; and only after that night could he understand Gurdjieff’s methods.

Man’s energy has layers. The first layer is for day-to-day work. It is soon exhausted, and you start feeling tired. If you don’t listen to this tiredness, and you continue, then the second layer of energy – which is an emergency reservoir of energy – starts functioning. Suddenly you will feel an onrush of new energy becoming available to you, which refreshes you continuously. You cannot believe what has happened: all tiredness is gone. You are more fresh than you were before you started the work.

But the emergency reservoir also is not very big; it is only for emergency situations which don’t last for long. So for one hour or two hours you will be full of energy, more than ever; then again the tiredness comes – and this is a greater tiredness than the first one. 

If you don’t listen to this tiredness… it is really difficult not to listen to it, almost impossible. But if you manage not to listen – and that’s what Gurdjieff wants, that you continue – then you touch the third layer, which is vast, which is universal. And once that layer becomes available to you, you are a new man. Just within a day Gurdjieff could take you to the emergence of the basic power, of the basic energy, the universal energy in you.

But for this kind of method you need a group. If twelve persons are working, then everyone is watching you. Then each person is watched by eleven persons; you cannot escape easily. Alone, it is impossible; you will stop after your day-to-day energy is finished, and you will feel immensely tired, hungry…. That will be the stoppage because there is nobody who can prevent you or whose presence can prevent you; nobody is watching you. So for Gurdjieff’s methods it is perfectly true that groups are needed.

My method can be used in a group, but the group is not necessary; you can use it alone. Any group can become a dependence – so that you can work only in the group. Out of the group, you are back to your usual self. When you are in the group you are a certain person; when you leave the group you are a different person.

I don’t want my sannyasins to be dependent.

It is perfectly good to have small groups, but the methods I have given to you are individual; you can work alone. You don’t need anybody to watch you, because my method is that you have to be the watcher.

Under somebody’s watching eye, out of fear of somebody – and of course when Gurdjieff himself is watching you, you cannot escape – but it is something like slavery. Although he is taking you towards deeper layers of your energy, there is some kind of violence, some kind of enforcement, enslavement.

It is possible for you to do almost the impossible in such a situation. But once Gurdjieff is not there, you will become an ordinary person as you have been before. That has happened to almost all his disciples. Even though they have small groups, they are all mediocre, the same.

Rather than helping each other to be awake, they help each other to fall asleep. When one starts snoring, rather than being an alarm clock, he helps you to snore too.

It can function both ways. The group can be a space where you can become more alert; it can be a space where you can become more asleep. And because people started becoming more asleep in Gurdjieff’s groups after Gurdjieff’s death, those groups have disappeared. People have moved alone. But alone you cannot do those methods.

This is a very spiritual kind of slavery.

The master cannot guarantee to be with you forever; sometime he will be leaving. Then you should not be left in a space where you cannot function without him. And for that, a preparation is needed: from the very beginning you work alone. Even if you are working in a group, you are not dependent on the group; your work, your method, is basically individual.

So my approach is individual.

I am not giving you school methods:

I am giving you individual methods, which can be done together with friends, which can be done alone. So you have freedom.

But there is nothing wrong if sannyasins are making small groups, because those small groups cannot hinder the methods that I have given to you or the work that you have to do upon yourself. It is available in both situations – alone or in groups.

But Gurdjieff had no idea – because he was trained always in schools. Sufis don’t have individual methods; all the methods are group methods. He was trained by Sufis, and he went from one school to another; he learned much from those schools, and he developed and polished many methods which had become old and were not contemporary.

But he could not help many people, for the simple reason that he was the only person who was really awake. All the persons were working under him, under pressure – not out of freedom and joy – working with the motivation that someday they will become awakened like Gurdjieff.

He was certainly a very strange and powerful man. When he was dying, he got up from his bed and started walking in the corridor. His disciples said, “What are you doing? You are so sick – it is better to rest.”

He said, “It is not sickness, it is death – and I don’t want death to find me a weak person. I want to meet death not lying on the bed, but walking on the verandah.”

He died walking. To the last moment he was still working. And he was certainly very awake because he could see death, he could see it was very imminent. But he was a very proud man – he did not like to die like every ordinary man, in the bed, he wanted to die in his own way.

Whenever he was sick, he would go driving, and he would drive as fast as the car could manage. And everybody in the car was just freaking out, afraid that, “Now there is going to be an accident; now it is going to be…” because he never cared about any rules, the lights on the crossroads or anything. He would just drive in a mad way.

Just ten years before he died, he had a very great crash. To avoid a truck, he crashed against a rock by the side of the road. He had so many fractures that it was an impossibility… doctors could not believe that a man with so many fractures could walk home. He came out of the car and walked miles with so many fractures. The doctors could not believe that a man could move even a few feet – and within fifteen days all those fractures were settled. He had immense power.

All his methods are to bring you to the basic source of power. If that basic source of power becomes available to you continuously, it will transform your whole being. But it was not continuously available even to him.

One of his disciples, Bennett, after the Second World War, went to him very tired. He was coming from the war, utterly tired, almost ready to die, willing to die.

Gurdjieff was very old, and it was just five years before he died. He asked Bennett to come close to him, and he took hold of both his hands. Bennett remembers in his biography that it was almost as if Gurdjieff was charging a battery from an electric source.

“I could feel the energy rushing through me, but I also could see that Gurdjieff was becoming pale. I was feeling full of energy, all my tiredness gone, as if I had never been to the war. And there was a great desire to live and a great desire to achieve the ultimate – within seconds. And then Gurdjieff staggered, pale, as if he was going to fall, and went into the bathroom. After ten minutes he came back. He was okay. He was back to his usual health.”

Bennett asked him, “What happened? You have given so much to me.”

Gurdjieff said, “I can give you energy, but I am not yet continuously in touch with the original source, so I gave my own energy to you. And then I had to do a certain exercise in the bathroom to get in touch with the original source; otherwise you can live – I will die!”

This is a totally different path than what I am teaching to you. It is a path of power.

What I am teaching to you is the path of awareness.

… Because the path of power has great dangers in it. It can crystallize your ego. It can make you feel very egoistic because you have so much power – you can do this, you can do that. And that is a danger.

To avoid the ego even in ordinary life is so difficult. If you get in touch with extraordinary sources of power, it will become more and more difficult to get rid of the ego, because the ego will take possession of all your powers.

My work is totally different: you have to be aware. And awareness is not a power. You have to be aware even of your powers. If you come across them, you have to be aware, and you have to remain detached, only a watcher.

That’s where Gurdjieff and I use different words. His methods can be described as “self-remembering.” That’s what he uses – the word “self-remembering.” I do not want to use that word. It is dangerous because the self can be just the ego – it is playing with fire. I simply use the word “witnessing,” with no place for self, ego, or even a faraway cousin.

Just to avoid the most probable possibility, you have just to be a witness. It may not lead you to power – there is no need – but it will lead you to understanding. That is what is needed.

Gurdjieff’s disciples became power-oriented and forgot completely about just being watchful. But he was not telling them to be just watchful. There is a possibility of somebody becoming enlightened through his path also, but it goes in a very zigzag way, with more possibility of being lost than of reaching.

What I have been telling you is something which cannot be misused in any way by you.

And witnessing is a purely individual phenomenon.

-Osho

From Light on the Path, Chapter 29

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Meditation: An Experience of Death in Life – Osho

There is nothing comparable to the death experience in life, except deep meditation.

So those who know meditation, they know something of death—that’s the only way to know before dying.

If I am saying there is no more significant experience in life than death, I am saying it, not because I have died and come back to tell you, but because I know that in meditation you move into the same space as death—because in meditation you are no more your physiology, no more your biology, no more your chemistry, no more your psychology. All those are left far away.

You come to your innermost center where there is only pure awareness. That pure awareness will be with you when you die because that cannot be taken away. All these other things which can be taken away, we take away with our own hands in meditation.

So meditation is an experience of death in life.

And it is so beautiful, so indescibably beautiful that only one thing can be said about death: it must be that experience multiplied by millions.

The experience of meditation multiplied by millions is the experience of death.

And when you pass on you simply leave your form behind. You are absolutely intact, and for the first time out of the prison of physiology, biology, psychology.

All the walls are broken and you are free.

For the first time you can open your wings to the existential.

-Osho

From Ignorance to Innocence, Chapter Five

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

You can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.